#RelationshipGoals

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Let’s talk about them.relationship_goals

The term “relationship goals” is casually tossed around on social media to convey admiration, or sometimes envy, of an action/gesture/moment that you want to see in your own relationship. Sometimes when you tag a post with #RelationshipGoals, you are completely serious, and sometimes, well, it might be with a hint of facetiousness. Regardless, the idea that we are admiring others’ relationships, based on as little as one photo, can be unhealthy or healthy depending on your mindset. Read More

What Comic Books and Your Relationship Have in Common

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Any comic book nerds out there? I can’t honestly say that I am one myself, but perhaps I am by proxy. My husband grew up with the worlds of Marvel and DC Comics, so whenever we watch one of the latest blockbusters based on these characters, I get a “supplemental” history of their storyline. (Sidenote: who knew there were so many X-Men?)

One thing I’ve come to learn is that most of these characters have what is known as an “origin story.” In comic book terms, an origin story is “an account or backstory revealing how a character or team gained their superpowers and/or the circumstances under which they became superheroes or supervillains.” (Wikipedia) It got me thinking that perhaps relationships have origin stories, too. Read More

Marriage & Media: 5 Things to Remember

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If Ben & Jennifer and Blake & Miranda can’t make marriage work, how can I?

Traditional media and social media are making it hard for couples to stay positive about marriage. (Like it isn’t hard enough already!) Negative press for marriage is everywhere. While waiting in line at the grocery store, you are bound to see magazine covers plastered with the news of yet another celebrity marriage coming to an end. Tune into the evening news or skim internet headlines and what do you find? A security breach of a dating website targeting married people looking to cheat! On the flip side, we often see edited representations of marriage while scrolling through our newsfeeds, giving the impression that picture-perfect marriages are the norm, and anything less than that is something to be ashamed of.

Sometimes after watching the news or scrolling through social media, you might find yourself thinking, “Marriage—what’s the point?!” or, “I wish my marriage was as perfect as theirs!”

Don’t let these distorted portrayals of marriage discourage you. Here are 5 things to remember: Read More

Complacency & Communication

When one goes up, the other goes down.

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If you Google “quotes about complacency”, you will see many different iterations of the same idea — complacency is the enemy. Companies get complacent, and they begin to lose customers to their competitors. Employees get complacent, and they are shocked when they are passed over for promotions or are let go altogether.

Complacency slowly corrodes the motivation, desire, and potential for progress, improvement, change, growth, and ultimately success. Apply that to relationships, and… yikes.

The scary thing about complacency in relationships is that, by nature, it silently takes root and eats away at intimacy. You don’t notice it lurking because hey, things are “fine.” You’re both just busy with work, and the kids, and your separate hobbies, and any number of other things. Why rock the boat? Then one day you find yourselves standing on opposite sides of a Grand Canyon-sized chasm, wondering, “How did we get here?” Read More

The Holy Trinity of Finances

How managing your finances is about more than being practical, it’s also about understanding and acknowledging the emotional and spiritual side of money … the “financial trinity” if you will.

By: Tim Schuster

Tim Schuster is a New Business Development Associate at brightpeak financial and Founder of MIDTOWN, a missional faith community in south Minneapolis.

brightpeak financial exists to help young Christians grow stronger financially so that they may live with confidence and generosity. It is a new division of Thrivent Financial, a faith-based, not-for-profit founded more than a century ago. Everything brightpeak does is aimed at helping families and communities thrive and become more resilient.

Money Is Practical
There is a rational and logical side to money. Money comes in. Money goes out. It adds up. Or it doesn’t. Whoever you are and whatever you do, your money comes down to simple dollars and cents on a piece of paper or computer screen. The main tool of the practical dimension of finances is a calculator. The upside of this dimension is that we can explain money clearly and concisely. The downside is that this represents only a one-dimensional view of finances. Read More

Forgiveness – Part 2: Seeking and Granting

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Whether you’ve been together for 5 years or 50, at some point in your relationship you will be faced with a situation that requires you to either seek or grant forgiveness. When we think of conscious forgiveness, we often associate it with a major betrayal such as infidelity or abuse. However, as Laura wrote about in the previous post, there are minor, every day lapses in thoughtfulness or judgement that require us to forgive our partner, albeit perhaps on a more subconscious level. Read More

Forgiveness – Part 1: Recognizing Forgiveness

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I recently interviewed six couples who had each been married for over 25 years. As I sat down with each partner, we began talking about their marriage. During our conversation we discussed the impact of their or their spouse’s retirement on their marriage, their level of satisfaction in marriage, and the presence of forgiveness in their marriage throughout the years.   At the end of my first interview, a woman who had been married for 57 years was walking me to the front door. She stopped me to tell me that she was still thinking over the idea of forgiveness in her marriage, some 45 minutes after our interview ended. At that moment, I knew the question about forgiveness would become the most thought-provoking question I would ask in each interview. Read More